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Valens: Andrea Gehrz Revisited

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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1571
Location: California, USA

Posted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:12 am    Post subject: Valens: Andrea Gehrz Revisited Reply with quote

I didn't realize until recently that Andrea Gehrz has continued with her promise to translate all of Valens. To date she has translated up to Part 1 of Book Three. I can't speak for the quality of her translation, but her presentation is unique to say the least. She is dividing her translation into small booklets. Book One (2011) was professionally done, very attractive with lots of white space. It has been re-published in a more simple format with fewer pages (about USD $30) There is some revision of text from the first edition.

Book Two has been divided into three smaller booklets. Andrea seems to be making an effort to make Valens approachable and even fun to read. The covers of her booklets look like old fashioned wall paper designs without any text noting the title of the book or author. The only notations on the covers are decimal keys (1.2 for Book One, edition 2; 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 for the three booklets that make up Valens Book Two, etc.)

The attractive first edition of Book One is out of print and already high priced on the second-hand market. Subsequent books appear to be rushed to publication (some without page numbers), or perhaps Andrea just wants to make Valens accessible and entertaining and "non-academic" with rough hand-drawn sketches of charts and diagrams to illustrate points in the text.

She has indeed "opened up" Valens for easy reading. She can take several pages (always plenty of white space) to sketch diagrams and write explanations for material that is in one tight paragraph of the Riley and Schmidt translations. A nice touch is that in footnotes she includes definitions of key Greek words which can't be precisely translated into English. So there is the "Greek flavor" in reading, very nice.

Her use of numeral .1 for editions suggests that perhaps she is considering revising her translations later. At any rate, each small booklet is priced at roughly USD $20 for 50 to 100+ pages of text. So if Book One (one book) and Book Two (in three booklets) are purchased, the buyer would so far have spent upwards of USD $90. It's true that although expensive, Andrea's approach does make Valens clear and understandable. She encourages readers to compare translations which is a good idea.
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